That's a suspiciously nice apartment for a baker...
Making ends meet while doing a niche creative job
Oh to be job hunting in the larky parallel world of rom-coms, which features very few accountants or recruitment consultants, but plenty of people running bakeries (Katherine Heigl in Life As We Know It) and travel book shops (hello Hugh Grant in Notting Hill and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail) or working for companies which do incredibly specific things yet employ a suspiciously high number of staff, like all those writers working for the greetings card company in 500 Days Of Summer. Also, every other man is an architect, the job of choice for the respectable rom-com hero: Luke Wilson in My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Zach Braff in The Last Kiss, Mark Ruffalo in Just Like Heaven, Matthew Perry in Three to Tango… It’s a world where no-one is going to be able to help you with your tax return, but there’ll be plenty of people on hand if you need help with a side-return, a box of cakes or a walker’s guide to the Pyrenees.
Living in a hugely expensive and central city location
Renting a one-bed in Manhattan will set you back around £2118 a month, yet the ‘just moved to New York’ heroine of every rom-com, most recently Dakota Johnson in How To Be Single, still manages to score a quirky little flat in a massively expensive part of town. If the movie is a West Coaster your heroine will probably inhabit one of those wooden houses on a rainbow coloured street above San Franciso, despite the city having an average house price of around $1.3 million. And don’t get us started on all those lovely, Georgian, central London townhouses where Paul Bettany in Wimbledon and Notting Hill Hugh Grant’s friends all live. If they were making Notting Hill now it would be far more realistic to call it Morden Hill.
The cost of fairy lights
The classic rom-com finale generally features a fire-hazard inducing tangle of fairy lights and candles, see the final kiss scene in She’s All That for more details. Does the world of rom-coms have some sort of buy one get 100 free bumper deals on outdoor lighting we’re not aware of?
Incurring massive fines for breaking through airport security
If you actually insisted on dashing through airport security you’d be in a huge amount of trouble with the law, probably incur a massive fine and in the US run the risk of being shot. Yet the ‘rushing through the airport to tell you how I really feel’ scene persists.
Other fines for interrupting stuff
Storming into public events, causing traffic pile-ups, stopping weddings (which may or may not be insured), the rom-com hero or heroine will happily risk being sued to deliver their Very Important Final Speech, despite inconveniencing everyone else who just wants to watch the play, drive somewhere or marry the wrong person in peace.
Getting expensive last-minute flights everywhere at the drop of a hat
Characters in rom-coms seem to have boundless budgets to fly anywhere and everywhere last minute in the name of love. Never mind the massive cost of a last minute flight and…. you know, having a job or plans to cancel.
Buying all the stuff for the turn-your-life-around montage
You know that moment when the central character decides to turn his / her life around because they need a) a new job b) to get over a heartbreak c) to train for a wrestling championship and win back their pro-wrestling beau, all money worries fly out the window as they embark on their self-improvement manifesto, frittering an endless stream of cash on new clothes, an expensive haircut, a car, workout gear, stationery, a new office, a whiteboard to record their progress etc.
All those week-night cocktails in swanky bars
Somehow paid for by the Quirky Creative Job salary of point number one.
Fixing the dent on the car bonnet
For all the time spent sitting on it, swigging a beer and looking out at a nice night-time city view. Who sits on the front of their car in real life having ‘chats’? No-one.